Jack Hamilton (baseball)
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Jack Edwin Hamilton (December 25, 1938 – February 22, 2018) was an American professional baseball pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB), from 1962–1969, for the Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers, New York Mets, California Angels, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago White Sox.
|Born: December 25, 1938|
|Died: February 22, 2018 (aged 79)|
|April 13, 1962, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 10, 1969, for the Chicago White Sox|
|Earned run average||4.53|
Originally signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as a free agent, Hamilton debuted in MLB as a starting pitcher for the Phillies in 1962 and posted a 9–12 record with an earned run average of 5.09. He showed more promise pitching out of the bullpen, and spent most of his career as a relief pitcher until his retirement in 1969, although he was converted back to a starting pitcher for the 1966 and 1967 seasons.
In 1967, Hamilton was traded by the Mets to the Angels. On August 18, the Angels were playing the Boston Red Sox in a game that would have important implications for the American League (AL) pennant race. The game became a turning point in the careers of two players. While facing outfielder Tony Conigliaro, who was set in a stance close to home plate, Hamilton hit him with a pitch on his left cheekbone that fractured both his cheekbone and eye socket, and severely damaged his retina. Conigliaro nearly died, and the damage to his vision kept him off the field the remainder of the year and all of 1968. Conigliaro made a promising-but-brief comeback in 1969–1970, until his vision problems returned, which eventually forced his early retirement from baseball in 1975 at age 30. Hamilton retired in 1969, finishing his career with the White Sox.
Hamilton lived in Branson, Missouri with his wife, Jan. Together, they have a son and two daughters. Since his retirement from baseball, Hamilton had owned and operated several restaurants in Iowa and Southwest Missouri. He died on February 22, 2018, at age 79.